BY EMMA UJAH
ABUJA—Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has appointed four manufacturing companies to supply the Point-of-sale, PoS, terminals for the ‘Cashless Lagos’ initiative, billed to commence on January 1.
The successful manufacturers are: PAX Technology, Bitel, Ingenico and Verifone.
The apex bank, in a statement, in Abuja, yesterday, said: “The companies were selected after a thorough process by a committee comprising key stakeholders in the payments system value chain.”
Nigerian banks, working with CBN, have pledged to deploy about 40,000 PoS terminals in Lagos by end of December with a view to creating an enabling environment for the take-off of the new cash policy in Lagos State.
To achieve the full benefits of this cashless drive, the banks decided to come together to negotiate the terms with Point-of-Sale terminal manufacturers on behalf of the industry to reduce the costs and guarantee greater access to the terminals.
“Consequently, discounts of about 30% on terminals only was negotiated with each of these manufacturers on behalf of the Industry, and are available to any terminal owner, acquirer, merchant, bank or other stakeholders wishing to participate in this arrangement. Other benefits negotiated include, local after-sales support, extended warranties, training, and minimum requirements for stocking of spare parts and swap units, amongst other things”, CBN said.
The selected manufacturers were said to have products that conform to the minimum standards as specified in the CBN Point-of-sale guidelines.
As a mark of commitment to this market, the selected manufacturers have offered to discuss buying back existing terminals in the Nigerian market that might not comply with the CBN guidelines, at a negotiated price to be determined between manufacturers and the sellers.
The companies also expressed commitment to resolve all problems affecting the existing terminals in the market within the next four (4) months.
Terminal owners were therefore requested to take advantage offered by this gesture by formally documenting all existing issues within the next 30 days, and submit same to the manufacturers through their local representatives.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Governor Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tunde Lemo was quoted as saying, “this is a welcome development as it shows the benefits we can achieve when we do things collaboratively. The manufacturers are now willing to take the Nigerian market more seriously, and do what it takes to ensure customer satisfaction.
They have already indicated willingness to customize their products in line with the specific requirements of the Nigerian market”. He added that coupled with the service from the recently licensed Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs), Nigerian customers can expect a much more pleasant point-of-sale user experience”.
On the part of the stakeholders, they expressed optimism on the new arrangement stating that the challenges faced in interfacing with PoS manufacturers in the past will be a thing of the past, especially given that there is also open competition amongst the terminal manufacturers.
Banks are expected to begin to place orders for their terminals this week, with the objective of ensuring terminals are deployed at merchant locations ahead of the January 1st kick-off.